Today we continue our series–”After Baby Comes: Postpartum Recovery Tips & Blessings for New Moms.” I’m blessed to have a full line-up of very talented guest posters, so I can recovery and enjoy my new sweet baby! Today, Justyn is showing us how to make a new mama basket! Please pay her site a visit!
Guest Post by Justyn of Creative Christian Mama
One of my favorite things to do for a new-mama-to-be is to create a new mama basket. Baby showers tend to be full of baby clothes, baby blankets, baby toys… everything for the baby. I love to pamper and celebrate the mama!
A new mama basket can fit within most budgets and it is perfect for personalizing. There are some things that I include in all of them, but for most of the items, I think about what I know about the mama. Does she hope to breastfeed? I include a bunch of things to support her efforts. Does she plan to have a natural birth or is she having a medically necessary C-section? There are gifts specific to each circumstance. Does she want to use all-natural products on her baby to avoid toxins? I think you get the idea!
The first thing you’ll need is a basket or pretty container of some kind. Ask about their plans for decorating the baby’s room and use that for inspiration. For the basket below, the plan was pink and brown, so I bought a basket that would fit their motif and be useful for storing baby odds and ends. You’ll also want a few small boxes or blocks of hard florist’s foam to create a base for the items you put inside. I like to make “stair steps” with two levels. Depending on the items you choose, you may have the higher level towards the front or the back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Nursing Cover: If the mama has mentioned that she wants to breastfeed, this can be especially helpful during those first few months.
Postpartum Herb and Salt Bath: If the mama plans to give birth naturally, this can help speed recovery and reduce pain.
Burp Rags: Actually, we use the prefold cloth diapers (they’re just a big white rectangle). Our first baby had terrible reflux and we quickly learned that those pretty, thin scraps of material sold as burp rags weren’t going to do much!
Sound Machine: Having a little bit of white noise in the background can make all the difference between a baby who sleeps through the airplane flying over and a baby who wakes up and cries for the next hour.
Belly Butter: Make my recipe or buy some all natural belly butter. Talk about pampering!
Cart Seat Cover: We bought one of these for our eldest and it has been wonderful! Who wants their baby chewing on a shopping cart that has been touched, coughed on and coated in germs? It’s also tons more comfortable for the baby.
Organic Swaddle: Most babies sleep much better for those first few months if they are snugly swaddled. Make the splurge for organic, since it’s so close to the baby’s face.
Natural Diaper Wipes: Both of my girls have bad and instant reactions to cheap diaper wipes full of chlorine and other harsh chemicals. This is one thing it is worth splurging on or learning to make at home.
Rice Heating Pad: Make a rice heating pad for pain-relief during labor, if the mama plans to have a natural birth. Add some lavender for extra comfort! (Note from Erin: I used these during my second birth! They also work great for the after pains that typically worsen with each birth.)
Nursing Pads: Some ultra-soft washable or disposable nursing pads are a big treat for a new mama! I received these as a gift, and it was such a wonderful difference to switch to them from the more “economical” version!
Books and DVDs: Speaking of relaxation techniques, consider giving books and DVDs about pregnancy, birth and babies! Some of my favorites are Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, “Making Babies” book and DVD set and “The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy.”
Baby Carrier: Whether it’s a sling, wrap or carrier, it’s good for mama to have some way to tote the baby around while keeping her hands free!
Mattress Cover: If you know what size bassinet, cosleeper or crib mattress the baby will be sleeping on, this makes a wonderful gift. It is a non-toxic cover that protects the baby from breathing in toxic fumes found in mattresses.
Lactation Cookie Recipe: Most mamas start with plenty of milk, but if there are any latching problems (such as tongue-tie or lip-tie), the milk supply can quickly drop too far. Having a recipe on hand will be encouraging and helpful to a tired new mama. Erin has a delicious looking recipe that I’m going to try! 🙂
New Mama Notebook: This is something I hope to make into a tradition! My idea is to have a beautiful (possibly hand-decorated) notebook to pass around to all the mamas at the baby shower. They can each use a page to write a special note to the new mama, including their best advice and encouraging words. After they write their personal message, they can include their favorite go-to resources that they loved (or wish they had known about!) when they were brand new mamas. This could be books, websites, videos, magazines or anything else that really helped them. They could also include names and contact information for their favorite lactation consultants, doulas, doctors or other medical professionals that the mama might need. Just be sure to explain what you want to do at least a week before the party so that the ladies all have time to get their information ready.
I hope that this list got your creative juices flowing! Now, just make or buy whatever strikes your fancy and get that basket put together. It’s best to start with the largest items, putting them towards the back, and filling in with smaller ones. You can also use coordinating tissue paper as filler, if needed. Play around and get the basket just how you like it, then either take a picture so that you can take it apart and reassemble it at the party (if you can’t leave it as it is for the ride), or use some of that spiffy shrink-wrap from the craft store! She’s going to love it!
What would you include in a new mama basket?
Justyn has been married for ten years and is the mama to two beautiful little girls. She is always in the middle of at least one creative project and she’s constantly researching new topics. So far, you can read about her adventures in homebirth, parenting, crafts, real food, herbs, homeschooling, marriage and gardening. Head on over for a visit at Creative Christian Mama or her Facebook page.
Come check out our other “After Baby Comes: Postpartum Recovery Tips & Blessings for New Moms” posts all month long!
- Bless a Friend with Freezer Meals
- 5 Ways to Beat Postpartum Depression, Naturally
- Top 10 Reasons to Use Your Crock Pot
- Exiting the Darkness of Postpartum Depression